Let’s have an Oscar party!

I’m not sure who first thought of having a party where the highlight of the evening is watching an award show on television. Maybe years ago people would invite their friends over to gather around the radio with a (stirred!) dry martini, on the edge of their seats to hear if Joan Crawford finally gets that Oscar. Inviting a few friends over and watching all the Academy Awards festivities has become a bit of a tradition for me. Oscar Sunday is the one day a year I don’t feel guilty about being catty about others’ appearances, and, thanks to HDTV, that activity has never been more fun. This year I have decided to mix it up a bit and make Oscar themed food and cocktails for our party. I know it isn’t exactly a quantum leap to have movie themed food for an Oscar party but it just never crossed my mind. In addition to food and drinks, we always have printable ballots and a custom BINGO game to play for prizes, details of which are below. But now, let’s get to the drinks, and the puns.

The Drinks

Skyyfall Martini

Image

Recipe:

(makes one cocktail)

5 blueberries, plus more for garnish

3 oz. white cranberry juice

1 1/5 oz. Skyy vodka

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle five blueberries.
  2. Fill shaker with ice and add cranberry juice and vodka.
  3. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass.
  4. Garnish with remaining blueberries, if desired.

Mangoes Unchained

Image

Recipe:

(can be made in large quantities if serving a crowd)

1 part light rum

1 part dark or gold rum

2 1/2 parts mango nectar

1 1/2 part pineapple juice

2 parts orange juice

splash of grenadine (for BLOOD)

mango slices, maraschino cherries, pineapple wedges for garnish (optional, but very tasty)

  1. In a pitcher combine first five ingredients and stir well.
  2. Pour mixture into individual glasses with ice.
  3. Before serving, carefully pour the grenadine onto the top of the juice and rum mixture in each glass. It should sink to the bottom of the glass if you don’t stir it.
  4. Garnish with the fruit and serve.

Note: the grenadine doesn’t add a whole lot of flavor and it used mostly for looks. It can be easily omitted if you are serving a large crowd.

The Food

Here at Would Eat we do not have the budget or free time to create dishes in advance of an event just to photograph them and then throw them away.  For this reason, the planned movie themed foods do not have corresponding photographs, but I will post photos after the party. These are just some menu ideas to get you started if you plan to have an Oscar themed menu as well.

Frankenweenies (Best Animated Feature)

  • Cocktail weenies rolled in puff pastry or Crescent Rolls.

Sally Field Greens (Best Supporting Actress)

  • Chopped salad with cucumber, avocado and carrots.

Robert De Nachos (Best Supporting Actor)

  • You guys know how to make nachos, right?

Beasts of the Southern Mild Salsa (Best Picture)

  • Served with chips, obviously.

Life of Pies (Best Picture)

  • We will have a fruit pie, but making a Life of Chicken Pot Pie would really be going above and beyond here.

Fresh Guacamole (Best Animated Short)

  • I really lucked out here because the name of the film is actually Fresh Guacamole.

Moonpies Kingdom (Best Original Screenplay)

  • Alternate choice: Moonfries Kingdom

Carne Asad-a (Best Live Action Short)

  • I don’t have a recipe for this because you can just pick some already marinated carne asada at almost any supermarket in my neighborhood. Very easy.

L’eggs Miserables (Best Picture)

  • Deviled eggs, get it?

The Games

As I mentioned earlier, we like to make things interesting at the Oscar party by having printable ballots of custom Bingo cards. The prize for whoever picks the most Oscar winners is a fake Oscar statuette I bought at LAX several years ago. The winner is then compelled to bring the prize back the next year. This year the prize for the irst person to get a Bingo is a gift bag filled with movie theater junk food (popcorn, milk duds, etc.). Basically, you can know nothing about movies and still win a prize.

If you need a printable ballot, you can find one here. I know, I am as surprised as you that Blockbuster is still in business in any way, shape or form. There used to be websites that would allow you to create custom bingo cards for free, but they don’t see to be around this year. I made our own cards with phrases such as “Anne Hathaway has tears in her eyes”. If you would like to use our custom Bingo games you can download it here (includes a blank page if you want to make your own Bingo cards): Oscar Bingo Pages. 

Thank you to everyone who helped come up with the Bingo squares and the menu ideas. I hope you all have a successful party!

Advertisements

Sriracha Lime Chicken Wings

Image

Several months ago I had dinner at the Carthay Circle Restaurant inside Disney’s California Adventure Theme Park and I had the pleasure of eating their Sriracha lime duck wings as an appetizer. These duck wings were by far the best thing I have ever eaten at a theme park, and one of the best things I had tasted in recent memory. The cost of the duck wings were pretty reasonable (around $12 if I remember correctly), but the entrees are pretty expensive, so a trip back is not on the horizon at the moment. I suppose one could just make a reservation and order the duck wings, drink water and eat their free bread. It’s not like they are going to throw us out on the Disneyland streets. To avoid that whole scenario I decided to re-create this recipe at home using the much more available chicken wing in lieu of duck. The waitress at Carthay Circle told me they marinade the duck wings in a melted-butter based mixture, but I have skipped that step. I made these using the buffalo style “party wings” for our Super Bowl party, but you could easily use chicken drumsticks and/or wings. I previously tried to make the sauce using a food processor but it was a huge mess to clean up. I used my immersion blender this time and it was much easier. I have to say these come pretty close to the real thing, but I still recommend eating at Carthay Circle if you have the chance.

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350F

2 1/2 – 3 lbs. chicken “party wings”

Salt & pepper, to taste

10-12 coriander seeds

1/2 cup Sriracha hot sauce (or to taste)

Juice of 2 1/2 fresh limes, plus 1/2 lime for garnish

3 Tbsp. cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 1/2 Tbsp. garlic chili sauce

  1. Line a cookie sheet with foil and arrange the chicken wings skin side up and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  3. In the meantime, combine the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste to check for seasoning.
  4. Toss the cooked wings with the sauce and serve with lime wedges.

I kept these warm during the party by using the “keep warm” setting on my slow cooker and this made them taste even better. This makes a lot of sauce so you can use it for other things if you want.